With the approach of summer, a majority of us are excited to get that tan. But are you aware of the best UV index for tanning? There are pros and cons of tanning that you should know before putting yourself into it.
So, therefore, we decided to discuss this. Come with us! We wish to bring you a fully detailed article on the best UV index for tanning and many more insights.
How Does Tanning Happen?
We all know that sitting under the sun for an extended period can tan or burn our skin. But what is the real factor that makes our skin color change? The rays of the sun have two types of UV radiation that reach your skin: UVA and UVB. UVB radiation usually burns the upper layers of skin (the epidermis), causing sunburns while UVA radiation is what makes people tan. UVA rays go through the lower layers of the epidermis to produce melanin. This is the brown pigment that causes tanning.
Though people are eager to get skin tanning, there are downsides to this process. Overexposure to the sun rays or the UVA rays can damage a person’s immune system. It could even cause serious illnesses like skin cancer, eye damage, or even premature skin. However, there are ways of getting that pigment on your skin naturally and safely. And it is highly advisable to avoid artificial indoor sun tanning beds as it can cause severe damage to the skin compared to natural tanning. We will be discussing the facts down below, so just keep reading.
What Do You Need to Know about the UV Index?
The ultraviolet (UV) index is a helpful spectrum that illustrates the strength of UV radiation produced by the sun. The history of the UV index runs back to the early 1900s. A group of Canadian scientists first created it. And it adapted since then until now for use throughout the world. The UV Index is a reminder to people to protect themselves when engaging in their usual outdoor day-to-day activities, such as wearing sunscreen and a hat or a cap to avoid getting sunburns.
According to the UV scale, people with fairer skin need to be more careful. However, people with darker skin could be able to tolerate more exposure. And note that reflections off of snow, water, and white sand can almost double UV strength.
The Shadow Rule
The shadow rule is a convenient way to tell how much UV exposure you get is to look for your shadow.
- If one’s shadow is taller than them (in the early morning and late afternoon), the UV of the particular person is likely to be lower.
- If one’s shadow is shorter than them (around midday), the particular person gets exposed to higher levels of UV radiation. Therefore, seeking shade and protect eyes and skin is essential.
According to the UV index, the sun is highest in the sky at noon, which means the sunrays are the strongest during that time of the day. So if you wish to tan faster in a short period, this is considered the best time ( generally between 10 a.m and 4.00 p.m). Therefore, wearing sunscreen is extremely important while tanning, especially between 10 a.m to 2.00 p.m.
What Is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen usually blocks and absorbs UV rays through a combination of physical and chemical particles. This process is especially important to fight both UVB and UVA rays. For example, organic particles such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide reflect UV radiation from the skin. And at the same time, complex particles in the sunscreen react with radiation before it penetrates the skin. This chemical performance on the skin is helpful to ensure the protection against various skin health conditions which occur due to tanning.
What Is SPF?
SPF or the Sun Protection Factor is another factor that we should consider with the sunscreen we apply. The number on the label of a sunscreen guides the level of sunburn protection on the product. Generally, the sun protection factor indicates how long we could stay exposed to the sun before getting sunburned with the application of sunscreen. For example, it takes 30 times longer to burn with sunscreen with SPF 30 than without sunscreen. However, reapplication of sunscreen every two hours is strictly advisable whenever you are out in the sun.
Tanning is always a personal preference, but ensure that you always use sunscreen with an appropriate SPF before going out for tanning. So, are you ready to get that tan-tan?